Friday, 27 March 2009

Summit's up in east end

NEXT week is the “G20 summit”. G20 sounds like a pop group – like some expansion of SClub7. In fact, it’s the most important meeting in 50 years. The leaders of the 20 most powerful countries are having a pow-wow in London town to fix the global economic meltdown. Obama, Brown and the others will sit around a table in London’s East End and try to fix it all over a pint and a pie. It’s a good idea in principle. Banking is linked across the planet. Job losses and unemployment in the UK are a result of international money problems so it’s a good to meet. But there could be trouble. Getting top leaders to the summit safely is a security headache. With the 20 top world leaders all in one place the police will be working round the clock against the terrorist threat. Driving round the East End is a nightmare at the best of times. It’ll be gridlock as people hang around Brick Lane waiting to see if Obama nips out for a quick curry with the Indian Prime Minister at lunch time.
They’ll also be protesting about human rights and the environment and other stuff. Most protesters are OK. But hundreds of “regulars” are also expected to turn up just for a fight with the fuzz. Apparently, lots of anarchists are on their way to make their presence felt on the world leaders. I guess all of this will be kept under control. Whatever happens outside the meeting, I just hope that they don’t end up having fisticuffs around the conference table.
IRISH politics has gone starkers. Naked paintings of the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowan have turned up in two art galleries. Bemused staff called in the cops to work out where the bare art came from. But they’re none the wiser. Maybe it’s to do with all the Guinness drunk after Ireland’s rugby victory over Wales at the weekend. However, my resident art expert Jimbo Barrington claims seeing paintings of politicians in the buff isn’t in fashion at the moment. He suspects the credit crunch has forced Brian to moonlight as a male model to prop up the economy. I doubt Flash Gordon Brown would make the centre pages of Daily Sport in his birthday suit. But you’re a funny lot – and if that’s what it takes to get you interested in
politics, I’ll ask him.
This week ex-government minister Frank Field warned of “civil unrest”. He means riots in Britain, thanks to the economic crisis. He says rising poverty, unemployment and anger at the government can trigger violent unrest for the first time in generations. His comments follow police chief David Hartshorn’s dire warning of a “summer of rage”. It’s a worrying time. The UK last saw riots when my least favourite UK politician ever, Maggie Thatcher, introduced Poll Tax in the 1980s. Thousands of people who were pushed further into poverty converged on the capital, smashing police cars, starting fires and scrapping with “London’s finest”. The government needs to act fast to sort out unemployment. It’s wrong to use violence, but people need to feel listened to and have a hope of a bright future.
I TAKE you… and you… and you… to be my lawful wedded wife. If you REALLY enjoy getting married, then move to the American state of Utah. They’re campaigning to allow men to have more than one wife. Yes, that’s right, fellas, with these guys you could marry Gemma and Ashleigh Massey and still be available if Pammy Anderson turned up. Utah is a state with lots of Mormons. That’s a religion which used to practice polygamy and even though its illegal, they estimate over 40,000 people still have “polygamous relationships” there. Look it up on the map, I am.

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